Megabowl of Birding results

Mega Bowl Summary
The first annual Mega Bowl of Birding in New Haven County was held on February 5, 2017 (Super Bowl Sunday).  Twenty four birders participated in the event and a good time was had by all. Birders teamed up in groups of 3-5 people and went to birding locations throughout the county, from Southbury to New Haven and from Milford to Madison.  They saw an impressive total of 103 species and garnered 237 points in doing so.  Birders got creative in coming up with names for their teams.  The names of the teams were as follows: the Abominable Snow Buntings, the Avianophiles, the CT Young Birders’ Club Darth Waders, the Suet Blockers, Winging It, and the Winter Wrenegades!  By a narrow margin, the CYBC Darth Waders pulled off an upset and came up with the most species and earned the most points of any team. Their team’s name has been inscribed on the Mega Bowl Trophy!  They saw a total of 82 species on the day and amassed 175 points.  At the end of the day, the participants met at the Kellogg Environmental Center in Derby for a scrumptious dinner (prepared expertly by my wife, Marianne) and to receive awards and prizes.  Wil Schenck won an award for being the youngest participant and Bill Batsford won an award for being the most senior participant (all of the other participants were very young, according to Bill). Prizes were given to every participant through the generosity of the proprietors of The Fat Robin in Hamden and The Audubon Shop in Madison. A number of rare and uncommon birds were seen during the day, including: Eurasian Wigeon, Black Scoter, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Ring-necked Pheasant, Rough-legged Hawk, Killdeer, Iceland Gull, Long-eared Owl, Brown Creeper, White-crowned Sparrow, Black-crowned Night-heron, Wilson’s Snipe, and Eared Grebe. Although all birds are equally valuable in the eyes of a birder, for this event species were given a point-value from 1 to 5 based upon their abundance or rarity in early February in New Haven County. Collectively, the teams saw 100% of the 1-point birds, 90% of the 2-point birds, 80% of the 3-point birds, 30% of the 4-point birds, and 3% of the 5-point birds. Seeing the Eared Grebe earned each team 7 points (and every team went to see this rarity at Nathan Hale Park in New Haven) as the species had not been recorded previously in New Haven County in February.
We are looking forward to running the Mega Bowl again next year. It will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2018, the day before the Super Bowl.  I hope that many bird club members will participate in this fun and friendly event.
Chris Loscalzo

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